EU farm policy reform: Council must be more flexible – we cannot waste more time

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Council’s lack of flexibility threatens security for EU farmers, Agriculture Committee Chair Norbert Lins warned, calling on Council to return to proper negotiations.

Chair of the Agriculture Committee and head EP negotiator on the post-2022 EU farm policy Norbert Lins (EPP, DE) issued the following statement after the lack of results in this week’s “supertrilogue” negotiations:

“For the past six months we have been negotiating in good faith, trying to deliver a greener, fairer and future-oriented Common Agricultural Policy for our farmers and consumers. This week, Parliament’s negotiators engaged in intensive talks trying to deliver a deal by the end of the week that would be fit for purpose and give member states and farmers enough time to prepare.

I am very disappointed that the Portuguese Council Presidency has broken off negotiations on the CAP today. If you want an agreement, you have to be ready to negotiate and be flexible. The Council Presidency seemed surprised that we did not simply rubber-stamp their compromise proposal, but stated our own red lines. I expect the Council to respect directly elected representatives as co-legislators. This is already the second reform after the Lisbon Treaty and the Parliament will not give up on our citizens’ expectations to give way to Council’s demands.

This step is bad for all our farmers and for climate and environmental protection. Farmers now lack planning security and urgently needed measures continue to be delayed. This is a serious blow to the negotiations, and I hope Council realises there are consequences to their stubborn approach.

In the coming days, we will discuss the recent developments internally. Parliament stands ready to resume negotiation with the Portuguese Council Presidency before the end of their mandate at the end of June, but only if Council shows more flexibility. I hope they return to the negotiating table with a renewed mandate to approve a truly sustainable farm policy that is fit for purpose.”

Click here to watch the press conference by lead EP negotiators that took place after this week’s “supertrilogue”.

Background

The trilateral negotiations between the Parliament, Council and Commission on the post-2022 EU farm policy began in November 2020. The latest round of “supertrilogue” talks started on Tuesday morning.

The main sticking points that need to be resolved consist of green architecture of the future EU farm policy, including the financial envelope for eco-schemes and for other environment- and climate-friendly measures and rules for some of the so-called Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs), redistributive payment to channel more money to small and medium-sized farmers, and the social dimension of the CAP. On all these points, Parliament is more ambitious than the Council.

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